OXON HILL — With euphoria abuzz and smiles abound, Gary Robertson lifted up the Class 3A South region title plaque high in the air as his teammates all made a W sign with their hands, with Jason Newman yelling “we out here baby.”
Potomac punched its ticket to the MPSSAA final four in a dominant 81-64 win thanks to the stellar play of Robertson (16 points), Newman(15 points) and Kevin Mallet (10 points). Magruder’s Bryan Boehlert and Collin Bannister tied for a game-high 17 points, and Max Broh had 12 points.
For Potomac, the region final couldn’t have started any better. Thanks to their constricting defense the Wolverines started out on a 9-0 run fueled by an alley-oop dunk by Travis Henson, the first of two nasty slam for him in the evening.
After that, Magruder never fully recovered, although the Colonels did make things interesting early in the second quarter when they brought it to within seven when Bannister went on a personal 8-0 run fueled by two 3-pointers and a layup to make it 25-18.
That was the closest it got all night, as the Wolverines immediately responded with a 7-2 run of their own to make it 32-20 with Mallet putback punctuating the run.
“Second quarter we started laying back because we thought we had it already,” Newman said. “Then they woke us up. So when we woke up, we turned up.”
The second half was the same, as the Wolverines relied on their full-court press and a Henson slam to go on another 9-0 run to make it 47-22. Magruder didn’t score again until under 3:30 left in the third quarter off a Broh layup and that only made it 47-24.
In a wild final frame, the Colonels again came to life. Thanks to a seven 3’s, four of them coming from Boehlert, Magruder outscored Potomac 32-24. During a 17-2 run that ended with the fourth and final 3 from Boehlert, the Colonels sliced a 30 point deficit in half to make it 77-62.
Unfortunately for Magruder, Potomac put the nail on the coffin and effectively ended the Colonels season when it sent Newman to the line for two free throws and allowed a Roberston one-handed tap-in for the final score of 81-64.
“Coach told us don’t stop playing till the buzzer sounds,” former DeMatha big-man Chris Dyches said. “After he put the starters back in, we had to close it out.”